The Courage To Heal
By Synthia Esther
January 13, 2010
Joni Eareckson Tada was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1949, to John and Lindy Eareckson. She is the youngest of four sisters. In 1967, at the age of 17, due to a diving accident Joni became a quadriplegic. Her fateful accident occured after graduating from high school. On a hot July day Joni was meeting up with her sister Kathy and some friends to go swiming on Chesapeake Bay. She arrived and immediately dove in the water, only to find herself unable to move. Joni was rescued by her sister Kathy and taken by ambulance to the local hospital where she remained for several months. She had broken her neck, a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels.
Now a quadriplegic, Joni was paralyzed from the shoulders down. Rehabilitation was not easy, as her anger and rage was followed by deep depression. Often times Joni wanted to end her life, and could not understand how God could let this happen to her. Before the accident Joni felt she wasnt living the life she should be and prayed to God that change within her life would occur. That God would turn her life around. After months of staring at the ceiling and wallowing in sorrow and depression, Joni began to wonder if this was God's answer to her prayer.
The testimony I recall most vividly given by Joni , was her transparent admittance concerning God and the many healing revivals she attended. She retold the countless times she had waited in line with other disabled wheelchair bound people, only to miss the opportunity to be prayed for by a well known faith healer. After such services Joni recounted how often she and other's like her would rush to beat the traffic of wheelchairs headed to get out of the crowd, and out of the building, only to return home chippled, the same way they came.
Joni quoted Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." A new attitude was born in Joni. Rather than view herself as a victim, Joni changed the way she viewed God's will. Looking instead at her circumstance based on victory in God's holy plan.. The raw reality of truth and empowerment that only God can give. Joni and co-author Steve Estes, wrote the book, "When God Weeps," Zondervan Publishing. Page 74 yeilds vast wisdom, recounting the story of Mose's giving God the excuse he wasn't eloquent enough to give Pharoah the "Let My People Go" speech. Joni quotes Exodus 4:11, The Lord said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?"
GOD CAN HEAL ANYONE OF ANYTHING...BUT SOMETIMES GOD DECIDES NOT TO HEAL.
Truth be known, God can heal anyone of anything. But real faith to heal emotionally, internally, within one's spirit takes courage. The courage to live for God. And the courage to love God, even when your faced with the reality of a God who can heal, but for reason's only known to God, He decides not to. Joni shares her life experiences as a popular spokeswoman, commercial artist, having learned how to draw using her mouth. She is also a best selling author (having written 35 books), and actress having starred in the film version of her own life. She has founded the ministry "Joni and Friends," www.joniandfriends.org , reaching out Internationally to people and children who are disabled.
Joni's life testimony exemplifies the courage to heal. Of all our human resources, one of the most precious is the desire to improve. So many times in life I have let my emotions control my destiny. The greater reality is that there is a God who knows what is best for me. Rather than base my life on the emotional tides of reason, I base my life on God's word and holy wisdom. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known," (1st Corinthians 13:12).
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Copyright - 2010, Synthia Esther. All Rights Reserved.